Meatless Monday: First Nation chief loses status after poaching elk

The Ucluelet First Nation has removed its hereditary chief status from a convicted elk poacher following his conviction last January for killing an elk out of season.

Wilson Jack had his hereditary-chief status removed by the other members, a rare move taken by  the elders in the northwestern British Columbia Indian band.

Jack has already received  a suspended sentence and two years of probation in Port Alberni provincial court.

Ucluelet First Nation president Les Doiron said in a story in the Victoria Times Colonist that Jack was always going to have to face repercussions from his people, along with suffering embarrassment over what he did.

Elders determined what action to take, Doiron said

They determined that they don’t want Wilson Jack to be hereditary chief for a minimum of two years, to act as the hereditary chief in any capacity whatsoever.”

That also means Jack has been removed from the nation’s six-person legislature, which is led by Doiron.

Doiron said the move made by the elders is rare.

“This doesn’t happen very often, I can tell you that,” he said. “It’s got to be quite a serious offence.

“This wasn’t an easy one to bring to the table.”

The elders also asked Jack to:

  • do 200 hours of community service, a condition of his probation, away from Ucluelet First Nation territory and
  • host a community dinner and apologize for his actions, and his harvesting rights for anything in the territory have been suspended.

Elk poaching is an ongoing issue among the Ucluelet and other first nations represented by the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, according to the Times Colonist.

More than 20 elk have been poached in Nuu-chah-nulth territory since 2013.

Some of the first nations have stopped using elk for food or ceremonial purposes because of concerns about their low numbers.

h/t: Times Colonist

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Peg Fong is also in recovery from newspapers

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